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McDonalds blocks access to gay support websites in New Zealand

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  1. Steve@GayWebHosting 10 Jan 2011, 8:17am

    Ahh well, we can´t have the kiddies ´shocked´ now can we?

    The whole issue of internet censorship is now crazy.. Yes, you would think that a company like McDonalds would have found some better censoring software that they are obviously using..

  2. Jock S. Trap 10 Jan 2011, 8:20am

    This is the main problem with this kind of action. They want to please but not pay people to investigate content.

    I worry this is what will happen here from companies ( I know they have for phones I mean for PC’s).

    There may be a need to, I guess especially in public places, to restrict porn sites as not everyone wants to see them but they have to spend the money to research and see the difference between porn sites (of whatever sexuality) and news and informative site like PinkNews and charities especially those there to help young people.

  3. One could also say that, in this day an age, it is shocking that a country’s main LGBT news site has to be chock full of adverts for sex saunas, lube, sex toys, and club promotions, including ‘super sex sundays’. If McDonald’s does not want sexually explicit websites to be accessed from its premises, then it is not being discriminatory by blocking this site.

    The way forward is for GayNZ to get support from more family-friendly advertising, from leading brands such as…McDonald’s and so on.

    An underlying question may be, why will no mainstream brand owners support the nation’s leading gay news website?

    PS Homosexuality was only decriminalised in New Zealand in 1986, despite a major campaign by the Salvation Army, which launched a nation-wide petition against repeal of sodomy laws.

  4. Jock S. Trap 10 Jan 2011, 8:36am

    @ Adrian T

    Thats a very good point. It’s the one thing I’m glad PinkNews doesn’t do. To have such ads just stereotype Gay/Lesbians as sleazy and if they want to be taken seriously they need to move away from that.

    McDonalds certainly can’t be accused of discrimination.

    Having said that is it still seen as damaging for a company to advertise on a gay site? In which case discrimination takes a different turn.

  5. Robyn Griffiths 10 Jan 2011, 8:42am

    McDonalds are hipocrites. The block a gay news site but hey have given moneyb to PIRA. I have never used McDonalds and never will

  6. * adrianT. Your point isn’t valid for the other sites mentioned, and I don’t see any lubes/sex toys/porn on GayNZ site either, so I don’t know what you are talking about – GayNZ, or any of the other sites blocked are not sexually explicit.
    So YES, McDonalds are being discriminatroy by blocking this and other gay sites. And as for your concern about the “super sex sunday” advert! I see more explicit images on MTV in a britney spears video than that image. Sounds like you need to stop going to the sally army meetings.

  7. I find this article a bit confusing. They seem to be saying that they are blocking websites that have content of a sexual nature.

    That is hardly news. It happens all over. For instance, libraries in this country, you will find gay sites blocked, because they have sexual content on them.

  8. James, it was unfortunate that, when I opened the GayNZ website, I was confronted with that particular combination of ads. Press f5 a few times to see what I mean. (I take it, you’re NOT concerned about adverts featuring a massive butt plug on the front page?)

    Be that as it may, McDonald’s has NO excuse for blocking Rainbow Youth and other important resources. And to say they are reviewing the situation is not good enough (it takes about ten seconds to review the suitability of RY for instance). I suggest NZ customers boycott the chain until it offers an apology, and explain who is responsible for imposing a blanket gay-related content ban.

  9. This is the same old chestnut that came up before. They are using screening software that blocks potentially undesirable content. It isn’t McDonald’s themselves, but the software companies.

    They tend to blacklist sites en-bloc, and this may also pull totally innocent sites in the net as well. It is a simple procedure to be transferred onto global whitelists, and sort the matter out.

    All this typical drama-queen over-reaction accusing everyone and their uncle of homophobia just smacks of “Cry Wolf” yet again.

  10. This is what our government are planning to have internet service providers do in the UK. Under the false flag of protecting kids from porn, they will block every page with the words gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans. You will need to contact the service provider and prove you are over 18 to access the content and get put on a government database.

  11. “All this typical drama-queen over-reaction accusing everyone and their uncle of homophobia just smacks of “Cry Wolf” yet again.”

    Wow. Pot. Kettle. Black. The one man with the penchant to over react at just about everything, telling the rest of us to calm down on the drama! Beautiful.

    If you don’t like the “drama”, please by all means leave this site never to return, and leave the rest of us in peace. You’ll be happy. We’ll be happy. And we’ll have the added bonus of less racist corned remarks from you and that fascist party you support. Bye now!

  12. de Villiers 10 Jan 2011, 2:23pm

    I cannot believe that McDonalds would deliberately discriminate against against LGB websites, although the comment by Adrian T has weight.

    Note also their publicity in France involving a gay customer and the phrase “venez comme vous êtes” – come as you are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBuKuA9nHsw

  13. Lesson learned: Don’t go to McDonalds.

  14. Commanderthor 10 Jan 2011, 4:58pm

    de Villiers, yes, come as you are, as long as you are the closet.

  15. de Villiers 10 Jan 2011, 10:08pm

    > de Villiers, yes, come as you are, as long as you are the closet.

    That’s not what the advertisement means. McDonalds is young and modern in France. This was supporting that. The phrase ‘come as you are’ is not telling people to stay in the closet.

  16. Bye bye McDonalds. Disgusting food anyway.

  17. Dambo (New Zealand) 11 Jan 2011, 1:02am

    I’m about to contradict myself, I’m sure of it :-).
    I’m not sure the original intention of the ban is necessarily homophobic based on my understanding of white-lists. I also wonder if the media attention given to this may actually undermine our efforts towards identifying and eliminating direct homophobia as it does look a little like crying wolf. On the other hand, it does highlight a not so obvious issue and perhaps it does raise our profile – any press is good press and all that.
    The RY website does have advertising, like any health focus website, there are links to organisations giving away condoms and lube or providing safer sex education. It’s a website supporting a healthy society.
    This issue is more of a ‘sex-phobic’ stance which ultimately means (dare I say it) GLBT-phobic, given that we’re a community defined by who we have sex with. Part of this means that any support site is necessarily going to talk about sex and therefore safer sex – a result of our hetero-centric society – so NOT crying wolf, but probably beyond the understanding of the average hetero-centric individual who can’t see the link.
    Unfortunately, as could be predicted, the NZ Herald has given time to the Family First director (hard-line, homophobic, right-wing, prick a bit like Stephen Green in the UK)
    “Mr McCoskrie said the issue was not about a certain group being discriminated against.
    “It is about the content and material which is adult-rated [and therefore] should be blocked in a public setting like McDonald’s … and McDonald’s are to be congratulated for putting families first.
    “Some of the websites which they have blocked have been blocked for a good reason.
    “People desperate to access this material will have to do it in a private setting through their own [internet] server.””
    FF are a virulent, vitriolic, organisation who are quite wide-spread and who gain regular air-time, mostly on the NZ Herald. They will have some influence on consumer companies such as MD’s because of this. Ultimately their agenda (the ‘xtian agenda’?) is to have anything GLBT censored so of course they’re going to ‘support’ MD’s in banning RY (and other websites) as they want to push us back into the closet. This issue has given them a platform to push their agenda in a not overly obvious manner. This misses the simple fact that GLBT people are family too but they don’t see it that way. Incidentally, RY also provides info/support to straight parents of queer youth.

    Most of my clients eat MD’s, and because of their age, most of them are only in the process of coming out and learning about sex. Subsequently, they don’t feel comfortable accessing vital support/information sites such as Rainbow Youth or Family Planning at home. If MD’s truly wish to support their customers, than they need to take a more proactive approach in sorting their ban-list and who-ever wrote it so that our youth have a safe place to gain appropriate information.

    My two cents.

  18. Commanderthor 11 Jan 2011, 1:46am

    >That’s not what the advertisement means. McDonalds is young and modern in France. This was supporting that. The phrase ‘come as you are’ is not telling people to stay in the closet.

    I’m glad McDonalds sent a representative to clarify this. I was under the impression the video portrayed a gay boy in the closet and McDonalds said come as you are, ie, in the closet. Oh wait…

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